These days, more and more people are placing importance on keeping physically healthy. This can be seen by the amount of people who are joining gyms and sports clubs, going on diets, and spending on private health insurance. One of the biggest areas of concern in this area for women is keeping a healthy weight, this is because it not only effects their overall level of physical health, but is also recognised as playing an important role in mental and emotional well being, and self perception as well. Most people know that being both over weight and under weight are not good for you, but health is about far more than just body weight. Things such as your family medical history, your genetic predispositions, how much you drink or smoke, what type of food you eat and how much exercise you get all have a major impact on health. There really is no ideal weight therefore that you should be seeking on purely health grounds.Using your weight as a measure of health therefore is not particularly useful. Obviously there are levels that will definitely be too high or too low, but within these limits, there is a huge range of healthy weights that people will fall into. Much of the worries that people feel regarding their weight are more to do with media images and glamorous advertisements than on what is considered healthy. We are surrounded by images and conceptions of beauty that distort our idea of what a healthy body should look like. Many media images actually show people who are under weight, sometimes considerable underweight, and do not represent a healthy standard or good example to measure us against. If you are genuinely concerned about health, then weight loss should not be the ultimate goal of all fitness efforts. You should try to cut down on cigarette and alcohol consumption, eat healthy food, get a reasonable amount of exercise, and generally take care of yourself. You do not need scientific advice and a professionally designed eating and exercise schedule. More likely what you need is common sense simple changes like snacking on fruits sometimes, walking to work, and visiting your doctor when recommended. Doctor check ups are recommended at varying intervals depending on your age and health circumstances but it is wise to keep up to date with these checkups and not to fall into the trap of constantly procrastinating. If the cost of doctor visits is a serious issue that causes you to skip visits, then maybe you should consider a health insurance plan that will cover such checkups and just charge you an affordable monthly amount.
Severe obesity is a serious medical condition experienced by people with a body mass index of 40 or above. Previously called morbid obesity, it affects an estimated six million American adults, or about 1 in 33 of the adult population. Associated with a range of complex metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance syndrome and raised blood-fats, plus other weight-related health problems, this condition should not be confused with overweight (BMI > 25) or regular obesity (BMI > 30). It is a serious disease requiring professional help.Since I started my weight loss consultancy over 24 years ago, I have met and spoken at length with hundreds of severely obese individuals weighing 300 pounds or more. For most of them, their weight was a major source of discomfort - both physical and emotional - yet over the years most had "adapted" to their growing waistline and were resigned to remaining seriously overweight for the rest of their life.For doctors and other health care specialists who work with obese patients, this type of patient-resignation to lifelong obesity is no surprise. But in fact it is only one of many obstacles to long-term "weight loss" . Many clinically obese individuals struggle with a variety of psychological issues to which they have trained themselves to respond by overeating. Some of these issues - for example, the early loss of a parent - require sophisticated counseling and even then may remain unresolved. In addition, many obese people struggle with family, educational or financial difficulties which further reduce their treatment and recovery options. Given the complex causes, responses and conditions surrounding obesity, it comes as no surprise that many conventional treatments remain largely ineffective. Sadly, many people of normal weight - including members of the medical profession - still find it difficult to accept the intractable nature of the condition, which only adds to the sense of alienation and guilt experienced by the very obese.Obesity Treatment OptionsHow effective a treatment is in helping severely obese patients to reduce weight, largely depends upon its ability to tackle the root causes of the condition. Most treatments deal with symptoms (excessive calorie intake) rather than causes (why obese individuals overeat).Conventional Weight Loss DietsNow that the low carb approach championed by Atkins Diet seems to have run its course, leaving many obese dieters close to if not heavier than their initial starting weight, the efficacy of conventional weight loss diets is more questionable than ever as a means of reducing obesity. Whatever their dietary composition, most reduced-calorie diets offer insufficient support to help obese patients make the necessary changes to their eating and exercise habits.Bariatric SurgeryGastric reduction surgery is a vital "last resort" treatment option for patients with severe weight-related health problems. It typically leads to very significant weight loss and health benefits, but it deals with symptoms not causes. So although it compels patients to eat less, thus forcing them to lose significant amounts of weight in the 2 year period following their gastric bypass or banding operation, it tends to have less success in dealing with the root causes of disordered eating which have built up in the patient's mind over the years. As a result, about 2-3 years after their operation, a large percentage of bariatric patients find it too difficult to follow the recommended dietary guidelines and end up regaining most if not all their starting weight.Obesity Drug TreatmentThe increasing number of obesity drug prescriptions issued to patients shows that doctors continue to lean heavily on pharmaceutical intervention for weight reduction. Furthermore, with obesity now labelled as the "trillion dollar disease", drug companies continue to invest heavily in their search for a scientific breakthrough. Yet clinical trials of FDA-approved obesity pills continue to show minimal long-term weight loss benefits for severely obese patients, almost certainly because drugs are not yet capable of dealing with the fundamental causes of disordered eating.Does This Mean Obesity Is Untreatable?In view of the limited success of conventional diets, surgery and drugs, does this mean that obesity is untreatable? No. It simply means that more specialised or support-based options are necessary. The first step in finding the best treatment option for any obesity condition is to talk to a doctor, who should be able to outline what specialised treatments are available. For example, there are a number of excellent medically-supervised weight loss programs run by hospitals and clinics in the US and Canada, that offer real support and counseling. Self-help support groups like Overeaters Anonymous (505-891-2664) or TOPS (800-932-8677) can also be extremely helpful. Alternatively, contact the American Dietetic Association (800-366-1655), or the American Obesity Association (202-776-7711) for further information.Some Practical Tips If You Are ObeseFor anyone who is 300 pounds or more, seeking medical advice and getting proper support is essential. Relying upon pills, diets or willpower alone is not enough. However, you can do a number of things to help yourself and improve your chances of losing weight. Here are a few suggestions.Stop Telling Yourself That You Can't Lose WeightWhatever your size or shape, and whatever your history of weight gain, the truth is you can lose weight and you can keep it off. In 24 years I have yet to meet anyone who was unable to "lose weight" , although I have met lots of people who lacked the motivation to stick to their diet! The point is, not being able to do something is quite different from not really wanting to do it. Yet most dieters confuse these two things. They think they can't lose weight, whereas in fact what they are really describing is an unwillingness to make the necessary changes to their eating habits. So stop telling yourself that you can't lose weight - because it's not true. The real question is: do you want to reduce weight, and if so, why?Start Telling Yourself Why You Want To Lose WeightThe messages we transmit to ourselves in the form of thoughts have the same effect as radio commercials. The more often we hear a particular message, the more we believe it. Tell yourself every day that you want to lose weight and gradually it will become a bigger and bigger priority. But don't stop there. In addition, tell yourself how losing weight will improve your life. Maybe your goal is to receive more male attention; or maybe your aim is to fit into a pair of regular jeans; or perhaps you think a leaner body will boost your confidence. Frankly, it doesn't matter what benefit you think weight loss will give you, the important thing is to advertise this benefit to yourself at every possible opportunity. Start today and try it for three months, and I guarantee it will help you to lose weight.Start Understanding Your Body ChemistryThere are three things you need to know about body chemistry and obesity control. First, the longer you go without food, the more likely you are to overeat later. So eat something small at least once every three hours. This reduces the risk of bingeing and helps you burn calories at the fastest possible rate. Second, the less chewy and more easily digestible a food is, the easier it is to overeat. By comparison, chewy foods tend to contain more fiber and therefore keep us fuller for longer. A good example of an easily digestible food is a creamy dessert. Even after a huge meal, most of us can demolish a serving of cheesecake or a bowl of rich ice cream, without much difficulty. In comparison, eating 5 oranges or 6 apples after a large main course would be almost impossible. So include plenty of high fiber foods in your daily diet. They contain fewer calories, they fill up your stomach, and they keep hunger at bay for longer. Thirdly, most women experience food cravings in the week before TOM. This is perfectly natural as well as forseeable. So make sure you have an extra supply of healthy snacks to keep yourself satisfied. Above all, don't try to deny yourself the extra food your body craves - you won't succeed - just make sure you have healthy options available.Don't Try To Be PerfectGod doesn't create perfect people, he creates humans. And humans enjoy tobacco, alcohol, double chocolate chip muffins and truck-sized boxes of movie popcorn. So unless you come from Mars, don't try to be a perfect dieter because it ain't gonna happen! Every dieter has bad days, bad weeks, sometimes even bad months. But so what? Losing weight isn't a race - it's a journey. How long it takes to arrive at your destination is not important. The only thing that matters is that you do eventually get there. Besides, once you accept that your diet-wagon is going to lose a wheel from time to time, you can plan how to react when it happens. Whereas if you assume your diet is going to be trouble-free, you are less likely to be prepared when disaster strikes.Stay Guilt-Free Under All CircumstancesSuppose you are 300 pounds. You start a diet, you start exercising with a neighbor, things go well and you lose 30 pounds, you feel on top of the world, then you have a huge bust-up with someone. Result? Your diet falls apart, you stop exercising and start comfort-eating. How can you prevent this from happening? Answer: you can't. This is Life. This is what happens. All you can do is go with the flow. If this means bingeing for a week until you feel better, so be it. But whatever you do, DON'T FEEL GUILTY. Because guilt will eat you up and will keep you obese for ever. In my experience, a dieter's initial bout of overeating is rarely the problem - it's the guilt which it inspires that does the damage and causes them to quit. Losing weight should be a guilt-free zone, and don't believe anyone who tells you different. On my weight loss program and forum there is no guilt, no matter what happens.Join A Weight Loss CommunityIf you are connected to the Internet, try to find an active forum where you can post your weekly weight, keep a food or weight loss journal, swap ideas with other dieters and generally have fun. Many people regard weight reduction as a totally serious matter. But it's not. It's a journey from A to B. And just like any journey, it passes more easily when we have fun and learn interesting things along the way. My lose weight forum is a very supportive place, but there are dozens of other forums to choose from. One of the biggest benefits of an active dieting forum is the opportunity it gives you to express your feelings. You can vent about your personal success or failure and also show your support for other people, which is equally therapeutic. So look out for a suitable online lose weight community and watch your obesity gradually disappear into thin air!
If you have been watching your weight all year, you certainly won't want to add back the pounds during the holiday season! By making a commitment to yourself and your health, with these tips it will be possible to enjoy the holiday celebrations without adding extra pounds.1. Don't think diet, rather think about eating smarter.2. Before attending a party, have a small high quality, nutritionally balanced meal. That way you will be less likely to be hungry and fill up on snack foods served with drinks.3. While at a party, determine to hold your drink in your dominant hand all evening. This will make it a little less convenient to reach for food.4. Think of one daily indulgence, rather than a 'day of indulgence'.5. Before attending a party resolve to snack only from fresh fruit and vegetable choices.6. If you must have a taste of chips and other 'dry' snack foods, alternate with fresh vegetable crudits. It is quite difficult to mix the tastes, so you are likely to eat more slowly and eventually give up. When that happens stick to the fresh food choices.7. Choose between an alcoholic beverage, a dessert or a 'sinful' main course, rather than indulging in all three. Rotate your choice when you have several events to attend.8. Choose almonds, pecans and walnuts, eating individually and slowly. This way you can avoid handfuls of salted peanuts or cashews.9. Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of sparkling mineral water with a dash of lime, or a vegetable juice dashed with a chili sauce.(c) Kim Beardsmore
Have you heard the joke about the person who orders a large cheeseburger and super sized fries and then asks for a diet soda because they are on a diet? Although this is an exaggeration it is a perfect way to explain what we mean by a blind spot. A blind spot is something that can sabotage your weight loss efforts and everyone sees it but you.Your blind spot may be one of the following or any number of things: You binge on nutritionally void foods because they are "low fat" You quench your thirst with diet drinks Your exercise routine is very ineffective You only eat out on weekends so you feel you can eat anything you want You don't realize you are constantly snacking during the dayThese are just a few things to get your mind working on how you may be sabotaging your "weight loss" efforts. More than likely even if we read about our blind spot we won't recognize it after all, it is a blind spot. So, how do you find out what your blind spots are? Keep a journal of everything you eat for a month and then evaluate Ask someone that you can trust and value their opinion Pay a personal trainer to evaluate your exercise routine Pay a registered dietician to evaluate your eating habits Purchase a diet/exercise tracking software and let it evaluate your input.Recognizing your nutrition and exercise blind spots can help you achieve your healthy lifestyle, and ideal weight goals.I wish for you the best of health,Bill
It is a common misconception that aerobic exercise tones and firms muscles. Actually it accomplishes very little toning and firming. Resistance exercise (weight training) is where real toning and firming of muscles occurs.Doing both aerobics and weight training is the optimal way to lose more fat and gain more muscle. If you are trying to lose weight, studies show that weight loss increases by 56 percent with aerobic and strength exercises combined. Muscle may weigh more, but when you increase your muscle composition, the body is able to burn more fat, even when you are resting, because your metabolism is higher. A pound of muscle will use 350 to 500 calories per week to survive, while a pound of fat only needs about 14 calories per week. New studies have shown that building muscle helps your body fight disease better, too.Strength training benefits everyone, no matter what age or sex, and is becoming recognized as an important component of fitness. Research is indicating that the muscle loss found in elderly people doesnt come from age, but lack of activity. Even a young person who doesnt get enough exercise can lose muscle mass and strength. Strength training, such as lifting weights or performing weight-resistance exercises, as little as twice a week can help maintain or increase muscle mass.Strength training involving several sets of multiple repetitions using moderate weights will not result in huge muscles. Instead it builds bone mass and increases the metabolism, as well as toning and firming the muscles, giving a leaner look.It is very important to do both aerobics and strength exercises. The aerobic exercises help your heart and lungs get stronger and help your body utilize oxygen more efficiently, which in turn helps with strength training and overall fitness. The strength exercise helps develop muscle, reduce body fat and maintain bone mass.Aerobic Exercise is a type of exercise that elevates the heart rate and breathing for a continuous sustained period. This overloads the heart and lungs and causes them to work harder than at rest.There are many options to choose from today. Bicycling, aerobic dance, swimming, walking, and stepping are all examples of aerobic exercise. Which ones to chose depends on your physical condition, your history, your interests and your goals. Many experts believe it is better to alternate between 2 or more types, to get a better workout.There are two main types of aerobics- high impact and low impact. It is better to alternate between high impact aerobics (which are harder on the body and may cause more damage) and low impact aerobics, such as walking and swimming. This is called cross-training, and helps reduce the chance or injury and overuse of certain muscles.You will want to perform aerobic exercises at least 20 minutes a day for at least 3 to 4 days a week. If you are trying to lose body fat, or your physical condition is very good, then you may want to work longer at it. Try exercising up to 40 to 60 minutes 5 to 6 days a week.Remember there is no real need to go overboard. Moderate intensity is almost always better, and is more enjoyable. Low to moderate intensity is an especially good idea when starting out after a layoff or recovery from illness or injury, or if you are significantly overweight.Warm-up and cool down is important to reduce discomfort and the chance of injury. Warm up by starting slow and gradually build up to your top speed. Then slow down again at the end of your workout.The whole idea behind aerobic exercise is to get up and get moving! Find something you enjoy doing that keeps your heart rate elevated for a continuous time period and get moving to a healthier life.This is an excerpt from the ebook The Enzyme Health Diet Plan by Dianne Ronnow. Copyright 2005 by Mohave Publishing. All rights reserved. The Enzyme Health Diet Plan is a FREE e-book that can be found on the Enzyme Health website at Enzyme-Health.com.